How John Deere uses Big Data in practice
John Deere has launched several data-enabled services that let farmers benefit from real-time monitoring of data collected from users of John Deere equipment. This data enables farmers to make better decisions that help them run their farms and machinery in smarter ways.
The myjohndeere.com online portal allows farmers to access data gathered from sensors attached to their own machinery as they work the fields, as well as aggregated data from other users around the world.
This allows farmers to make informed decisions about how to use their equipment.For example, fuel usage of different combines can be monitored and correlated with their productivity levels. And, by analysing the data from thousands of farms, working with many different crops in many different conditions, it is possible to finesse farm operations for optimum production. The system also helps to minimise downtime by predicting, based on crowd sourced data, when and where equipment is likely to fail. Using this data, engineers can be ready to supply new parts and service machinery when it is needed.
Another data-based service is the John Deere Operations Center, which helps farmers decide what crops to plant where, based on information gathered in their own fields and those of other users.
The technical details
John Deer’s data is largely structured, internal data, primarily gathered from sensors on the company’s machines and probes in the soil.This data is aggregated and made available to users via the myjohndeere.com platform. The portal is also connected to external datasets, such as weather data.
In terms of infrastructure, John Deere uses SAP’s HANA system – an in-memory, relational database management system – to crunch the data.
Ideas and insights you can steal
There’s a myth that Big Data is something only tech companies do. However, this example shows how even the most traditional of companiesare turning to Big Data. Other companies and industries are starting to do thesame, such as trucking companies using data to plan more efficientroutes and real estate companies using data to predict booms and bustsin the market. These days, any company can become a Big Data company.
You can read more about how John Deere is using Big Data to drive success in Big Data in Practice: How 45 Successful Companies Used Big Data Analytics to Deliver Extraordinary Results.
Bernard Marr is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and advisor to companies and governments. He has worked with and advised many of the world's best-known organisations. LinkedIn has recently ranked Bernard as one of the top 10 Business Influencers in the world (in fact, No 5 - just behind Bill Gates and Richard Branson). He writes on the topics of intelligent business performance for various publications including Forbes, HuffPost, and LinkedIn Pulse. His blogs and SlideShare presentation have millions of readers.